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Benitoite is a single-source gemstone, meaning that so far, it has been found in only one place on Earth: San Benito County, California. Benitoite grows in relatively small crystals, only a portion of which are gem quality--further increasing the rarity and value of this unique gemstone. Gem-quality benitoite over one carat is incredibly difficult to come by. California's state gemstone, benitoite is especially prized by collectors for its strong dispersion, which rivals that of diamond in lighter material.

Benitoite Polished
Benitoite Classification
Common Name Benitoite
Species Benitoite
Benitoite Optical Properties
Transparency Translucent-Transparent
Dispersion Strength: Moderate Fire Value: 0.044
Refractive Index Over The Limit 1.757-1.804
Birefringence 0.047
Optic Character Uniaxial
Optic Sign Positive
Polariscope Reaction Doubly Refractive (DR)
Fluorescence SWUV: Inert to strong bluish white
LWUV: Inert to weak red
Pleochroism Dichroic, strong blue and colorless
Benitoite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 6-6.5
Streak White
Specific Gravity 3.610-3.690 Range:0.01/-0.07 Typical:3.680
Toughness Fair
Inclusions Benitoite may be color zoned with strong pleochroism.
Luster Vitreous
Fracture Conchoidal, Uneven
Cleavage Poor, in one direction
Benitoite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name barium titanium silicate
Chemical Formula BaTiSi3O9
Crystal System Hexagonal
Chemistry Classification Silicate

Benitoite Colors

  • Pink Benitoite Pink
  • Blue Benitoite Blue
  • Blue Benitoite Blue
  • White Benitoite White
  • Colorless Benitoite Colorless

Countries of Origin

United States of America (the)

Sisk Gemology Reference

Showcasing 200 gemstones in over 1,000 pages and accompanied by more than 2,000 photos, The Sisk Gemology Reference is a must-have in every collector’s library. Each comprehensive, three-volume set features state-of-the-art photography, detailed illustrations, and scientifically precise descriptions to create an entrancing experience for gemstone amateurs and afficionados alike.

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Tim Matthews


Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.